Different Tuning Harmonicas

Hey cool - had not been aware of that mic. Wonder when Hohner started making it?

It’d be cool if you made a post over here sharing your gear.

Will Wilde has a rock tuned harmonica you can get from his website (Shop). Here is the description…

Holes one to five are exactly the same as standard tuning. Holes six, seven and eight are the same as holes two, three and four (just an octave higher). Hole nine is the same as hole two (two octaves higher) and the reeds in hole ten are reversed (so that what was a blow bend is now a draw bend). This makes fast minor pentatonic/blues scale runs much easier and means you no longer need to overblow/overdraw to get the flat third and flat five in the upper octave as they are now available as simple draw bends.

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Hi @bcorbitt82,

I have a couple of these Wilde-tuned Seydel 1847 harps that I really like (bought them direct from Seydel). However, I still prefer the Seydel 1847 PowerBender which allows you to bend the scale’s 6th note to get a flat 6 (= sharp 5) without having to overblow.

Using a C harp as my example, that means with a PowerBender you can play -5’ (this is then an Eb) – which is something I seem to use quite often.

Having said that, the Wilde-tuning is such a close second to the PowerBender … that I now have several harps in the same key but each with a different tuning: one in Wilde-tuning and one in PowerBender (and, of course, one standard Richter that doesn’t get used so often). :crazy_face:

Regards,
– Slim

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Hallo @Slim , kann ich nur bestätigen, der Südwesten Deutschlands ist wunderschön. Schwarzwald, Freiburg und Co., herrlich. Den Rhein liebe ich auch im Westen (;-)).
Beste Grüße Astrid

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Ja @AstridHandbikebee63 es ist wirklich herrlich hier im Südwesten. Wir fahren oft in die Pfalz (heute sogar), um zu wandern und Weinstuben zu besuchen :wine_glass: :wink:

Elsass ist auch gleich uns gegenüber und hat fantastische Weine, Essen, Wanderwege und Leute!! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Tschüss
– Slim :sunglasses:

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Very cool! Looking forward to trying this! Thanks for sharing.

Rock on,
Luke

Hey Slim - do you have any PowerDraws? It seems like maybe PowerDraw tuning and Will Wilde tuning are the same thing? From @bcorbitt82’s description I think it’s the same unless I’m missing something?

I’m looking forward to trying PowerBender and PowerDraw buy feel I might like the latter better because I will miss the -45 trill so much on the former, just like I do when I play the MelodyMakers.

Who knows? I won’t know until I try!

Rock on,
Luke

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Hi @Luke

No the PowerDraw (PD) and Wilde Tuned (WT) are different. Although both are identical from +1 (blow 1) until -5 (draw 5). So for the -(45) warble/trill there is no difference. Only holes 6 & 7 are different between the two. I will explain the difference using a C major tuned harp as my example.

PD hole 6 : +6 is G / -6 is A (so your hole 6 is like on all typical blues harps)
WT hole 6: +6 is E / -6 is G (root note is -6 and you can bend it to F# and even down to F)

PD hole 7 : +7 is A / -7 is B (so A occurs twice up here: -6 and +7)
WT hole 7: +7 is G / -7 is B (now G occures twice and -7 can be bent to Bb, A & Ab)

Thinking about it is one thing, actually playing them is the only real way to appreciate what you can do with them. It is really great to be able to bend the G at -6 on the WT harp (as well as on the PowerBender harp, although there +6 is F rather than E). This is reason enough for me to prefer the WT to the PD harp.

The ability to bend the WT harp’s -7 the same number of steps as -3 is also very appealing, however I personally find it rather difficult to accurately hit the A & Ab at -7 (plus, their high pitch is rather annoying compared to simply playing a bendable -6 or a (non-bendable) +7 for the A on a PD harp (both of which have better tone quality for the A than the -7 double bend for the A on a WT harp).

I had already mentioned in another post that I do not use the -(45) warble very often and I like the ability to bend the E to an Eb at hole draw 5 that you get on the PowerBender harp. So that is my main reason for my personal ranking of these 3 harps as:

  1. PowerBender
  2. Wilde Tuned
  3. PowerDraw

Regards,
– Slim

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I was just thinking the same thing to myself!!!

Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to note the differences between the PD and WT tuning. It seems like for all of these tuning the lower keys (G-Bb kind of range) would probably be the best sounding as the high draws bends probably don’t sound good, say on an F harp. LOL. But who knows. I’m so excited to dip my toes into these alternate tuning harmonica waters!

Thanks again, Slim. This thread is becoming quite a nice compendium on the subject, thanks in no small part to you, my friend!!!

Rock on,
Luke

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You are very welcome, @Luke – and you are correct (in my opinion): the tunings from Bb and lower produce the best bending tone quality in the upper (hole 7 and higher) range. I have a Seydel 1847 PowerBender (PB) – not PD – in low F that is really sounding good up there. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

And I should add that my 1847 Wilde-tuned harp in A is also excellent !!! :two_hearts:

Regards,
– Slim

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